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Archive for February 7th, 2014

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When I drove past a newer (fifteen years) local church, recently, I looked at it and saw an alabaster jar.

When it was being built I remember hearing of marble being shipped from Italy and thinking to myself,

what a waste … that money could have gone to much better places.

I remember visiting the church when it’s building was complete, and loving the architectural details, and the long-term plans to replace plain glass windows with stained glass, as money presented itself.

I left thinking it was an absolutely delightful structure, with every attention on the details. But I also remember thinking to myself,

what a waste … that money could have gone to much better places.

But, last week as I was driving past that church, just days after I had learned of a Castle for Sale, just weeks after hearing that the church my grandmother had attended was closing it’s doors, just in the midst of a class studying castles in the Medieval  times …

I saw it as an alabaster jar.

In Matthew 26, it is recorded that at about the same time as the chief priests and elders were plotting Jesus demise, and Judas was agreeing to betray his Savior, an unknown woman comes along.

“When Jesus was at Bethany, a guest of Simon the Leper, a woman came up to him as he was eating dinner and anointed him with a bottle of very expensive perfume. When the disciples saw what was happening, they were furious. “That’s criminal! This could have been sold for a lot and the money handed out to the poor.”

When Jesus realized what was going on, he intervened. “Why are you giving this woman a hard time? She has just done something wonderfully significant for me. You will have the poor with you every day for the rest of your lives, but not me. When she poured this perfume on my body, what she really did was anoint me for burial. You can be sure that wherever in the whole world the Message is preached, what she has just done is going to be remembered and admired.”
Matthew 26:6-13

Jesus chastisement of the disciples ire does not mean that He does not believe that we should help the poor.

This woman was not pouring out the disciple’s perfume, she was giving HER expensive perfume … she was giving her most valuable possession as an offering to Jesus.

What she did for Him was a sacrificial gift, that would last, and would be remembered in the whole world … “remembered and adored.”

Sort of like the beautiful churches and cathedrals … built at a high cost, with money that could have gone to better places. But, it was built as a sacrificial gift to God. One that has lasted … remembered and adored.

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